Sincere LewisStudent Spotlight Sincere Lewis

Sincere Lewis is a testament to overcoming adversity. Born the youngest of five children in Trinidad, his first years were fairly unstable, to put it plainly. His father, the first male nurse on the island, and his mother, try as they might, were unable to make their relationship work and eventually parted ways. Looking for a better life in America, his mother immigrated to New York when Sincere was ten and planned to bring her children as quickly as possible. But it was ten more years before she was able to keep her promise and before Sincere made his own trip to the United States. Finding little satisfying work in New York City, Lewis seized an opportunity to serve his new country and joined the Army in 2001.

Fort Hood, Texas was a gateway to Sincere's next assignment to Iraq where he and his wife both served in the same battalion, yet in different companies. It was in Iraq that he was wounded and learned for himself just how ugly war can be. After recovering from his wounds, rather than returning to the U. S., he asked to stay in Iraq with his fellow soldiers to complete his assignment. "I wanted to stay with my soldiers," was his simply stated reason.

But the ugliness of war also took its toll on the former Sergeant. "After leaving the Army, I struggled and fell into a lifestyle that wasn't good," Lewis admits. "It took a while for me to realize I wasn't who I wanted to be, and certainly was not the role model I wanted to be for my son. So I had to make a choice and chose to turn my life around." After divorcing his wife and gaining custody of his son, Cam'Ron, he remarried and moved to Fort Walton Beach where his wife, Rukiya, is an airman stationed at Hurlburt Field.

"Schooling for me was never hard," Lewis said. "My father was very intelligent and demanded that his children apply themselves in school, so we all did." Once the opportunity presented itself, Lewis enrolled at Northwest Florida State College to take his first steps toward a degree. "Because of the help I've received in treatment for my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I just want to give back; I want to help people. The best way for me to do this is to work hard and become a Psychologist. I will do it. I will," he declared.

The Cleophus McIntosh Scholarship, designated for an African-American male and awarded through Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in Fort Walton Beach, is helping Sincere reach his goal. "Who can place a value on an offer to help fund my education? I am so grateful to the members of Omega Psi Phi for their help. My wife and I are working hard to make a good life for our family and this scholarship means everything to me. I owe the members of the fraternity a lot and getting good grades and succeeding in life is one way I can repay them."

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